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- Probing the QCD Phase Diagram with Compact Stars (2010)
- In this work we study compact stars, i.e. neutron stars, as cosmic laboratories for the nuclear matter. With a mass of around 1 - 3 solar masses and a radius of around 10km, compact stars are very dense and, besides nucleons, can contain exotic matter such as hyperons or quark matter. The KaoS collaboration studied nuclear matter for densities up to 2-3 times saturation density by analysing kaon multiplicities from Au+Au and C+C collisions. The results show that nuclear matter in the corresponding density region is very compressible, with a compressibility of <200MeV. For such soft nuclear equations of state the maximum masses of neutron stars are ca. 1.8 - 1.9 solar masses, whereas the central densities are higher than 5 times nuclear saturation density and therefore point towards a possible phase transition to quark matter. If quark matter would be present in the interior of neutron stars, so-called hybrid stars, it could be produced already during their birth in supernova explosions. To study this we implement a quark matter phase transition in a hadronic equation of state which is used in supernova simulations. Supernova simulations of low and intermediate mass progenitors and two different bag constants show a collapse of the proto neutron star due to the softening of the equations of state in the quark-hadron mixed phase. The stiffening of the equation of state for pure quark matter halts the collapse and leads to the production of a second shock wave. The second shock wave is energetic enough to lead to an explosion of the star and produces a neutrino burst when passing the neutrinospheres. Furthermore, first studies of the longtime cooling of hybrid stars show, that colour superconductivity can significantly influence the cooling behaviour of hybrid stars, if all quarks form Cooper Pairs. For the so-called CSL phase (colour-spin locking) with pairing energies of several MeV, the cooling of the quark phase is suppressed and the hybrid star appears as a pure hadronic star.

- Properties of hadronic matter near the phase transition (2010)
- In order to fully understand the new state of matter formed in heavy ion collisions, it is vital to isolate the always present final state hadronic contributions within the primary Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) experimental signatures. Previously, the hadronic contributions were determined using the properties of the known mesons and baryons. However, according to Hagedorn, hadrons should follow an exponential mass spectrum, which the known hadrons follow only up to masses of M = 2 GeV. Beyond this point the mass spectrum is flat, which indicates that there are "missing" hadrons, that could potentially contribute significantly to experimental observables. In this thesis I investigate the influence of these "missing" Hagedorn states on various experimental signatures of QGP. Strangeness enhancement is considered a signal for QGP because hadronic interactions (even including multi-mesonic reactions) underpredict the hadronic yields (especially for strange particles) at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, RHIC. One can conclude that the time scales to produce the required amount of hadronic yields are too long to allow for the hadrons to reach chemical equilibrium within the lifetime of a cooling hadronic fireball. Because gluon fusion can quickly produce strange quarks, it has been suggested that the hadrons are born into chemical equilibrium following the Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) phase transition. However, we show here that the missing Hagedorn states provide extra degrees of freedom that can contribute to fast chemical equilibration times for a hadron gas. We develop a dynamical scheme in which possible Hagedorn states contribute to fast chemical equilibration times of X X pairs (where X = p, K, Lambda, or Omega) inside a hadron gas and just below the critical temperature. Within this scheme, we use master equations and derive various analytical estimates for the chemical equilibration times. Applying a Bjorken picture to the expanding fireball, the hadrons can, indeed, quickly chemically equilibrate for both an initial overpopulation or underpopulation of Hagedorn resonances. We compare the thermodynamic properties of our model to recent lattice results and find that for both critical temperatures, Tc = 176 MeV and Tc = 196 MeV, the hadrons can reach chemical equilibrium on very short time scales. Furthermore the ratios p/pi, K/pi , Lambda/pi, and Omega/pi match experimental values well in our dynamical scenario. The effects of the "missing" Hagedorn states are not limited to the chemical equilibration time. Many believe that the new state of matter formed at RHIC is the closet to a perfect fluid found in nature, which implies that it has a small shear viscosity to entropy density ratio close to the bound derived using the uncertainty principle. Our hadron resonance gas model, including the additional Hagedorn states, is used to obtain an upper bound on the shear viscosity to entropy density ratio, eta/s, of hadronic matter near Tc that is close to 1/(4pi). Furthermore, the large trace anomaly and the small speed of sound near Tc computed within this model agree well with recent lattice calculations. We also comment on the behavior of the bulk viscosity to entropy density ratio of hadronic matter close to the phase transition, which qualitatively has a different behavior close to Tc than a hadron gas model with only the known resonances. We show how the measured particle ratios can be used to provide non-trivial information about Tc of the QCD phase transition. This is obtained by including the effects of highly massive Hagedorn resonances on statistical models, which are generally used to describe hadronic yields. The inclusion of the "missing" Hagedorn states creates a dependence of the thermal fits on the Hagedorn temperature, TH , and leads to a slight overall improvement of thermal fits. We find that for Au+Au collisions at RHIC at sqrt{sN N} = 200 GeV the best square fit measure, chi^2 , occurs at TH = Tc = 176 MeV and produces a chemical freeze-out temperature of 172.6 MeV and a baryon chemical potential of 39.7 MeV.

- Kaon and pion production in centrality selected minimum bias Pb+Pb collisions at 40 and 158A GeV (2009)
- Results on charged kaon and negatively charged pion production and spectra for centrality selected Pb+Pb mininimum bias events at 40 and 158A GeV have been presented in this thesis. All analysis are based on data taken by the NA49 experiment at the accelerator Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. The kaon results are based on an analysis of the mean energy loss <dE/dx> of the charged particles traversing the detector gas of the time projection chambers (TPCs). The pion results are from an analysis of all negatively charged particles h- corrected for contributions from particle decays and secondary interactions. For the dE/dx analysis of charged kaons, main TPC tracks with a total momentum between 4 and 50 GeV have been analyzed in logarithmic momentum log(p) and transverse momentum pt bins. The resulting dE/dx spectra have been fitted by the sum of 5 Gaussians, one for each main particle type (electrons, pions, kaons, protons, deuterons). The amplitude of the Gaussian used for the kaon part of the spectra has been corrected for efficiency and acceptance and the binning has been transformed to rapidity y and transverse momentum pt bins. The multiplicity dN/dy of the single rapidity bins has been derived by summing the measured range of the transverse momentum spectra and an extrapolation to full coverage with a single exponential function fitted to the measured range. The results have been combined with the mid-rapidity measurements from the time-of-flight detectors and a double Gaussian fit to the dN/dy spectra has been used for extrapolation to rapidity outside of the acceptance of the dE/dx analysis. For the h- analysis of negatively charged pions, all negatively charged tracks have been analyzed. The background from secondary reactions, particle decays, and gamma-conversions has been corrected with the VENUS event generator. The results were also corrected for efficiency and acceptance and the pt spectra were analyzed and extrapolated where necessary to derive the mean yield per rapidity bin dN/dy. The mean multiplicity <pi-> has been derived by summing up the measured dN/dy and extrapolating the rapidity spectrum with a double Gaussian fit to 4pi coverage. The results have been discussed in detail and compared to various model calculations. Microscopical models like URQMD and HSD do not describe the full complexity of Pb+Pb collisions. Especially the production of the positively charged kaons, which carry the major part of strange quarks, cannot be consistently reproduced by the model calculations. Centrality selected minimum bias Pb+Pb collisions can be described as a mixture of a high-density region of multiply colliding nucleons (core) and practically independent nucleon-nucleon collisions (corona). This leads to a smooth evolution from peripheral to central collisions. A more detailed approach derives the ensemble volume from a percolation of elementary clusters. In the percolation model all clusters are formed from coalescing strings that are assumed to decay statistically with the volume dependence of canonical strangeness suppression. The percolation model describes the measured data for top SPS and RHIC energies. At 40A GeV, the system size dependence of the relative strangeness production starts to evolve from the saturation seen at higher energies from peripheral events onwards towards a linear dependence at SIS and AGS. This change of the dependence on system size occurs in the energy region of the observed maximum of the K+ to pi ratio for central Pb+Pb collisions. Future measurements with heavy ion beam energies around this maximum at RHIC and FAIR as well as the upgraded NA49 successor experiment NA61 will further improve our understanding of quark matter and its reflection in modern heavy ion physics and theories.

- Energy dependence of multiplicity fluctuations in heavy ion collisions at the CERN SPS (2008)
- In this work data of the NA49 experiment at CERN SPS on the energy dependence of multiplicity fluctuations in central Pb+Pb collisions at 20A, 30A, 40A, 80A and 158A GeV, as well as the system size dependence at 158A GeV, is analysed for positively, negatively and all charged hadrons. Furthermore the rapidity and transverse momentum dependence of multiplicity fluctuations are studied. The experimental results are compared to predictions of statistical hadron-gas and string-hadronic models. It is expected that multiplicity fluctuations are sensitive to the phase transition to quark-gluon-plasma (QGP) and to the critical point of strongly interacting matter. It is predicted that both the onset of deconfinement, the lowest energy where QGP is created, and the critical point are located in the SPS energy range. Furthermore, the predictions for the multiplicity fluctuations of statistical and string-hadronic models are different, the experimental data might allow to distinguish between them. The used measure of multiplicity fluctuations is the scaled variance omega, defined as the ratio of the variance and the mean of the multiplicity distribution. In the NA49 experiment the tracks of charged particles are detected in four large volume time projection chambers (TPCs). In order to remove possible detector effects a detailed study of event and track selection criteria is performed. Naively one would expect Poisson fluctuations in central heavy ion collisions. A suppression of fluctuations compared to a Poisson distribution is observed for positively and negatively charged hadrons at forward rapidity in Pb+Pb collisions. At midrapidity and for all charged hadrons the fluctuations are larger than the Poisson ones. The fluctuations seem to increase with decreasing system size. It is suggested that this is due to increased relative fluctuations in the number of participants. Furthermore, it was discovered that omega increases for decreasing rapidity and transverse momentum. A hadron-gas model predicts different values of omega for different statistical ensembles. In the grand-canonical ensemble, where all conservation laws are fulfilled only on the average, not on an event-by-event basis, the predicted fluctuations are the largest ones. In the canonical ensemble the charges, namely the electrical charge, the baryon number and the strangeness, are conserved for each event. The scaled variance in this ensemble is smaller than for the grand-canonical ensemble. In the micro-canonical ensemble not only the charges, but also the energy and the momentum are conserved in each event, the predicted $omega$ is the smallest one. The grand-canonical and canonical formulations of the hadron-gas model over-predict fluctuations in the forward acceptance. In contrast to the experimental data no dependence of omega on rapidity and transverse momentum is expected. For the micro-canonical formulation, which predicts small fluctuations in the total phase space, no quantitative calculation is available yet for the limited experimental acceptance. The increase of fluctuations for low rapidities and transverse momenta can be qualitatively understood in a micro-canonical ensemble as an effect of energy and momentum conservation. The string-hadronic model UrQMD significantly over-predicts the mean multiplicities but approximately reproduces the scaled variance of the multiplicity distributions at all measured collision energies, systems and phase-space intervals. String-hadronic models predict for Pb+Pb collisions a monotonous increase of omega with collision energy, similar to the observations for p+p interactions. This is in contrast to the predictions of the hadron-gas model, where omega shows no energy dependence at higher energies. At SPS energies the predictions of the string-hadronic and hadron-gas models are in the same order of magnitude, but at RHIC and LHC energies the difference in omega in the full phase space is much larger. Experimental data should be able to distinguish between them rather easily. Narrower than Poissonian (omega < 1) multiplicity fluctuations measured in the forward kinematic region (1<y(pi)<y_{beam}) can be related to the reduced fluctuations predicted for relativistic gases with imposed conservation laws. This general feature of relativistic gases may be preserved also for some non-equilibrium systems as modeled by the string-hadronic approaches. A quantitative estimate shows that the predicted maximum in fluctuations due to a first order phase transition from hadron-gas to QGP is smaller than the experimental errors of the present experiment and can therefore neither be confirmed nor disproved. No sign of increased fluctuations as expected for a freeze-out near the critical point of strongly interacting matter is observed.

- Collective phenomena in the non-equilibrium quark-gluon plasma (2008)
- In this work we study the non-equilibrium dynamics of a quark-gluon plasma, as created in heavy-ion collisions. We investigate how big of a role plasma instabilities can play in the isotropization and equilibration of a quark-gluon plasma. In particular, we determine, among other things, how much collisions between the particles can reduce the growth rate of unstable modes. This is done both in a model calculation using the hard-loop approximation, as well as in a real-time lattice simulation combining both classical Yang-Mills-fields as well as inter-particle collisions. The new extended version of the simulation is also used to investigate jet transport in isotropic media, leading to a cutoff-independent result for the transport coefficient $hat{q}$. The precise determination of such transport coefficients is essential, since they can provide important information about the medium created in heavy-ion collisions. In anisotropic media, the effect of instabilities on jet transport is studied, leading to a possible explanation for the experimental observation that high-energy jets traversing the plasma perpendicular to the beam axis experience much stronger broadening in rapidity than in azimuth. The investigation of collective modes in the hard-loop limit is extended to fermionic modes, which are shown to be all stable. Finally, we study the possibility of using high energy photon production as a tool to experimentally determine the anisotropy of the created system. Knowledge of the degree of local momentum-space anisotropy reached in a heavy-ion collision is essential for the study of instabilities and their role for isotropization and thermalization, because their growth rate depends strongly on the anisotropy.

- Modelling ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions with the quark Molecular Dynamics qMD (2005)
- This thesis presents a model for the dynamical description of deconfined quark matter created in ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions, treating quarks and antiquarks as classical point particles subject to a colour-dependent, Cornell-type potential interaction. The model provides a dynamical handle for hadronization via the recombination of quarks and antiquarks in colour neutral clusters. Gluons are not included explicitly in the model,but are described in an effective manner by the means of the potential interaction. The model includes four different quark flavours (up, down, strange and charm) and uses current masses for the quarks. The dynamical evolution of a system of colour charges subject to the Hamiltonian equations of motion of the model yields the formation of colour neutral clusters of quarks and antiquarks, which are subject only to a small remaining interaction, the strong interquark potential notwithstanding. These clusters can be mapped onto hadrons and hadronic resonances. Thus, the model allows a dynamical description of quarks degrees of freedom in heavy ion collisions, including a recombination scheme for hadronization. The thermal properties of the model turn pout to be very satisfying. The model shows a transition from a confining phase to a deconfined phase with rising temperature, going hand in hand with a softest point in the equation of state and a rise of energy density and pressure to the Stefan-Boltzmann limit of a gas of quarks and antiquarks. Moreover, the potential interaction is screened in the deconfined phase. For the dynamical description of ultra-relativistic heavy ion collision, the qMD model is coupled to UrQMD as a generator for its initial conditions. In this way, a fully dynamical description of the expansion and hadronization of the fireball created in such collisions can be achieved. Non-equilibrium aspects of the expansion dynamics and hadronization by recombination of quarks and antiquarks are discussed in detail, and a comparison with experimental data of collisions at the CERN-SPS is presented. The big advantage of the qMD model is the possibility to study cluster formation, including exotic clusters, and fluctuations in a dynamical manner. As an example, event-by-event fluctuations in electric charge are studied. Such fluctuations have been proposed as a clear criterion to distinguish a deconfined system from a hadrons gas. However, experimental data show hadron gas fluctuation measures even at RHIC, where deconfinement is taken for granted. We will see how the dynamics of quark recombination washes out the quark-gluon plasma signal in the fluctuation criterion. Moreover, we will discuss briefly the problem of entropy at recombination. In a second application, the formation of exotic hadronic clusters, larger than usual mesons and baryons, is studied. Such clusters could provide new measures for the thermalization and homogenization of a deconfined gas of colour charges. Moreover, number estimates for exotic clusters from recombination are considerably lower than corresponding predictions from thermal models, providing a clear difference between statistical hadronization and hadronization via quark recombination. A detailed analysis is provided for pentaquark candidates such as the Theta-Plus. It turns out that the distribution of exotic states over strangeness, isospin, and spin could provide a sensitive measure for thermalization and decorrelation in the deconfined quark phase, if it could be measured.

- Monte Carlo model for multiparticle production at ultrarelativistic energies (1994)
- The Monte Carlo parton string model for multiparticle production in hadron-hadron, hadron-nucleus, and nucleus-nucleus collisions at high energies is described. An adequate choice of the parameters in the model gives the possibility of recovering the main results of the dual parton model, with the advantage of treating both hadron and nuclear interactions on the same footing, reducing them to interactions between partons. Also the possibility of considering both soft and hard parton interactions is introduced.

- Pion and thermal photon spectra as a possible signal for a phase transition (2005)
- We calculate thermal photon and neutral pion spectra in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions in the framework of three-fluid hydrodynamics. Both spectra are quite sensitive to the equation of state used. In particular, within our model, recent data for S + Au at 200 AGeV can only be understood if a scenario with a phase transition (possibly to a quark-gluon plasma) is assumed. Results for Au+Au at 11 AGeV and Pb + Pb at 160 AGeV are also presented.

- A Stopped delta-matter source in heavy ion collisions at 10-GeV/N? (1994)
- We predict the formation of highly dense baryon-rich resonance matter in Au+Au collisions at AGS energies. The final pion yields show observable signs for resonance matter. The Delta1232 resonance is predicted to be the dominant source for pions of small transverse momenta. Rescattering e ects consecutive excitation and deexcitation of Delta's lead to a long apparent life- time (> 10 fm/c) and rather large volumina (several 100 fm3) of the Delta-matter state. Heavier baryon resonances prove to be crucial for reaction dynamics and particle production at AGS.

- Thermal photons as a measure for the rapidity dependence of the temperature (1995)
- The rapidity distribution of thermal photons produced in Pb+Pb collisions at CERN-SPS energies is calculated within scaling and three- fluid hydrodynamics. It is shown that these scenarios lead to very different rapidity spectra. A measurement of the rapidity dependence of photon radiation can give cleaner insight into the reaction dynamics than pion spectra, especially into the rapidity dependence of the temperature.